Yvonne Lorkin NZME Regionals column for week beginning Sat 9 June 2018

“I’ve been writing about wine for fifteen years and also worked in more restaurants and bars than I care to remember, so I’ve seen every wine preservation system under the sun. Essentially there are three things you can do to stop the enemy (oxygen) from getting its mean old, vinegar-causing hands on it. You can suck the air out of the bottle leaving a vacuum. You can replace the bad air with something good like an inert gas that won’t affect the wine. Or you can form a physical barrier between the wine and air. From clip-on contraptions, drop-in oxygen blockers, vacuum-pump preservers and all manner of inert gas gizmos – I’ve had a crack at them all.

They’ve all worked to varying degrees but most have never lived up to the life extending claims in the marketing guff, so when I was sent a packet of newly-released REPOUR wine savers” I was a tad skeptical.

It’s basically a plastic wine stopper that absorbs any oxygen present inside the wine bottle. Using it is as easy as taking the cork out or unscrewing the cap, removing the tiny foil seal on the bottom of the REPOUR and bunging it into your bottle. When you want to enjoy another glass, you just take the stopper out, pour then pop it back in.

I experimented with a bottle of delicate Chablis and tasted it once a week for 7 weeks and it was only the last week or two that I felt the wine was tipping over. I also opened a bottle of Barossa shiraz and I was still thinking how fresh and frisky it was about nine weeks after opening. I was impressed.

However once you’ve poured a glass of wine, you’d better pop that stopper back into the bottle smartly, because the longer the stopper is exposed to outside air, the quicker it loses its ability to absorb oxygen. Each stopper is also only designed to handle one bottle of wine, so while repeat-use isn’t on the cards, they’re inexpensive and fully recyclable, so that’s a plus.

I think if you had a cafe, restaurant or bar where you had a number of wines available by the glass and therefore open bottles at the end of the night, then having these REPOUR wine savers would be an easy and cost-effective way of ensuring minimal wine wastage. To buy visit www.mywinesaver.com.au.

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Mister Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $18 (3.5 stars)
Looking for a little bit of lipsmacking lime and lemongrass in a glass? Well you’ve come to the right place. Hawke’s Bay sauvignon blanc has all that classic tropical, peach and passionfruit character that you know and love, but this Rod McDonald creation also delivers extra generosity and citrus concentration on the finish. It’s snappy-fresh and good to glug.
www.rmwines.co.nz

Rock Ferry 3rd Rock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $27.90 (4 stars)
Certified organic and oozing tropical fruit from every drop, this is a generously proportioned, punchy, passionfruit-saturated sauvignon that has lovely depth of flavour. It has a hefty herbaceous undercurrent and a long, creamy texture on the finish. Darn tasty to drink.
www.greatlittlevineyards.com

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New weeks bring nice new sips that I have to shout from the rooftops (or maybe just the mezzanine…heath and safety and all that…)

Astrolabe Sleepers Vineyard Marlborough Albariño 2016 $25 (4 stars)
Grown on a limestone-laden block WAY south in Kekerengu by Albarino-obsessives Chris and Lynne Wilson, this local version of a Spanish favourite has ‘Spring 2018’ written all over it. Clean white peach, lemon blossom, a dusting of almond and a long, soft, citrus-stacked finish will make you feel like you’ve just stepped out of a Mentos ad with every sip. Fresh, snappy and nothing snoozy about it.
www.astrolabewines.co.nz

Pegasus Bay Encore Noble Riesling 2016 $40 (5 stars)
This succulent, incredibly sexy sip firmly sits top of the tree on the Classic Wines of New Zealand list insofar as sweet wines are concerned. Crafted only in years when the conditions are perfect for botrytis to take hold of the grapes and turn them into tiny lumps of magical nectar, this is an absolute joy to drink. Intense candied citrus, toffee and honeysuckle flavours are held aloft by racy, refreshing acidity across a seductively sweet mouthfeel. So eye-poppingly delicisous, this isn’t just a wine, it’s an experience.
www.pegasusbay.com

Alpha Domus Barnstormer Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016 $34
Syrah has been one of the Ham family’s show-off wines pretty much ever since they set up shop in the iron-rich, red gravels of the Bridge Pa Triangle, just a skip and a hop from Hastings city. The Barnstormer has a list of medals and trophies that should justify it being a bit of a snob, however it’s one of the most delicious and approachable styles out there. Perfumed with soft pepper and florals and chock full of cocoa-dusted, dark fruit and a smorgasbord of spice, it’s an elegant yet ultimately sippable syrah.
www.alphadomus.co.nz

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